Russia Detains Ally of Deputy Minister for Corruption

( – Moscow’s court service announced on Thursday that another man was detained in connection to the bribery case involving Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov.

The deputy minister was detained on Wednesday along with his associate Sergei Borodin. While details from Moscow’s Investigative Committee were thin, the top law enforcement agency did say that Ivanov, 48, was accused of taking a significant bribe and would be detained pending an investigation and subsequent trial.

The third man, construction company co-owner Alexander Fomin, was detained on suspicion of paying Ivanov the bribes.

The three suspects are expected to remain in custody until late June at least.

Ivanov, who oversaw military construction projects for the Defense Ministry, had previously been accused by Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption group of living far beyond his means.

Ivanov is among the Russian officials sanctioned by the US and EU following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Ivanov’s construction projects would continue in his absence.

According to the court, both Borodin and Fomin facilitated a “particularly large bribe” to Ivanov. Additionally, the investigation found that Fomin’s company Olimpsitistroy failed to pay for goods, services, or work related to the repair and reconstruction of buildings.

Investigators accused Ivanov of conspiring with others to receive free repair and construction work on his personal properties in exchange for assistance to companies contracted to do construction projects for the Ministry of Defense.

Ivanov denies the charges.

Peskov confirmed that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Putin had been briefed about Ivanov’s arrest.

Sources close to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed on Wednesday that the bribery case against Ivanov was designed to hide the more serious charges against him, which include treason.

However, Peskov warned against listening to rumors and urged reporters to “rely on official information.”

Ivanov reportedly oversaw reconstruction in Mariupol, the Russian-occupied port city in Ukraine that was virtually leveled by Russian bombardment early on in the war.

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